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Should Maiden Lane North London line station be re-opened? - May 2023

Maiden Lane NLL station was closed in 1917 as a wartime economy measure and, like many others, never reopened. So, Overground trains now run 1.75 km nonstop between Camden Road and Caledonian Road & Barnsbury through what has become a built-up area. The site is about 1 km north of King’s Cross along York Way and has many railway lines in its vicinity but no existing stations.

Confusingly, what is now York Way had been called Maiden Lane for centuries before 1887 when the eponymous station opened but was later renamed ‘York Road’ (hence the Piccadilly line station, about 400 metres south, which closed in 1932) and renamed ‘York Way’ in 1938. The road now forms the boundary between Camden and Islington boroughs.

Immediately north of the site, Camden Council’s Maiden Lane Housing Estate, was built between 1979 and 1982. More recent developments have taken place on the vast railway lands north of King’s Cross, including The Triangle Site, also on York Way, between the erstwhile Maiden Lane and York Road stations:

It has often been suggested that York Road station be reopened to serve the major development sites nearby, but that station is underground: bringing it back into operation in accordance with modern standards would be very expensive and would increase journey times on Piccadilly line trains operating through the station.

It was Camden Councillor and London Assembly Member Sian Berry (Green Party) who suggested reopening Maiden Lane station to FTL and our initial investigations indicate that an island platform (like that at Caledonian Road & Barnsbury) between the Overground tracks would be feasible, subject to the granting of minor derogations and being able to construct modern facilities while trains continue to operate through the site. Sian Berry has indicated she will now pursue reopening Maiden Lane with the relevant organisations.

All the indications are that Maiden Lane station would benefit many residents within its walk-in catchment area, as well as providing interchange with buses along York Way.

When closed in 1917, Maiden Lane station had two side platforms serving the northern pair of NLL tracks, but the line was re-signalled in 2010 and the tracks rearranged with Overground trains now using the centre pair.

The old station building was on the north side of the four tracks and is planned to be used as the eastern entry/exit for the Camden Highline project, if that goes ahead despite the opposition of Future Transport London. Camden Highline patrons would add to the number of passengers using the reopened station.

Neil Roth

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